Mathieu Flamini will miss tomorrow’s Champions League group stage encounter with Borussia Dortmund with concussion, paving the way for Serge Gnabry to return to the matchday squad.The German U19 international was promoted to the first-team squad early last month and has made three appearances for the senior side so far this campaign, notably scoring the winner in the 2-1 victory over Swansea City in the Premier League. However, following the return of Santi Cazorla from injury, Gnabry was left out of the squad for Saturday’s win over Norwich City at Emirates Stadium.
Flamini’s absence is likely to see Gnabry elevated back into the squad, with the 18 year old set to be preferred over the other options of Ryo Miyaichi, Ju-Young Park and Emmanuel Frimpong. Frimpong, giventhat he is a defensive-midfielder, would appear the most natural replacement in the squad for Flamini, but he hasn’t been involved in a matchday squad for over a month.
Arsenal are still without Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abou Diaby, Yaya Sanogo and Gedion Zelalem due to injury.
Youngsters Nico Yennaris and Isaac Hayden joined the first-team for training today, and the latter is poised to captain Arsenal in the UEFA Youth League against Dortmund’s highly-regarded youth setup at Borehamwood on Wednesday. Gnabry will most likely not be included given his first-team commitments, but Chuba Akpom and Hector Bellerin should feature, whilst the versatile Alfred Mugabo could also return having featured for the U18s at the weekend.
Like the first-team, Arsenal U19s have enjoyed victories in their first two group stage fixtures against Marseille and Napoli, but know that the impending double-header against Dortmund could go a long way towards deciding whether they qualify for the latter stages.
Likely Arsenal first-team squad for Dortmund fixture: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud, Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Monreal, Rosicky, Bendtner, Gnabry.
Possible Arsenal U19 squad for Dortmund fixture on Wednesday: Iliev, Bellerin, O’Connor, Hayden, Ormonde-Ottewill, Kamara, Jebb, Maitland-Niles, Lipman, Iwobi, Akpom, Huddart, Raage, Dawkins, Smith, Wright, Olsson, Siemann.